Do not assume that being arrested for a 1st time DUI in West Chester, Pennsylavnia is not serious. Pennsylvania law punishes driving under the influence based on your blood alcohol content (BAC) and your past criminal record for DUI convictions.
Therefore, a 1st time DUI arrest could result in severe penalties depending on the circumstances. It is in your best interest to seek legal advice from an experienced West Chester DUI attorney.
Our West Chester DUI lawyer at DiCindio Law LLC is a former Chester County prosecutor. He uses his knowledge of the criminal justice system to defend individuals charged with driving under the influence.
How Our West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyers Help if You’ve Been Charged with DUI
A 1st time DUI charge could result in significant fines and jail time. In addition, you could lose your job and have a criminal record. However, there are ways to fight DUI charges in West Chester, PA.
When you hire DiCindio Law LLC to handle your DUI case, you can expect us to:
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding your DUI stop and arrest
- Carefully analyze the results of a chemical test and other evidence of intoxication
- Explain your legal rights and options for fighting the DUI charges
- Discuss the pros and cons of going to trial or accepting a plea deal
- Aggressively fight to get you the best plea deal possible if going to trial would not be in your best interest
Throughout your case, we work to protect your legal rights. If possible, we work to get the DUI charges reduced or dismissed. If that is not possible, we work to achieve the best possible outcome given the facts of your case.
We encourage you to reach out to us to discuss your DUI charges. A 1st DUI conviction can change your life. Consider your options before you plead guilty by discussing your case with an experienced West Chester DUI lawyer.
Possible Charges for a 1st Time DUI Offense in West Chester, PA
Under Pennsylvania DUI laws, you are charged with one of three DUI offenses based on your blood alcohol content (BAC). According to 38 Pa. CS §3802, these DUI charges are:
- General impairment DUI – Driving a motor vehicle with sufficient alcohol in your system to impair your ability to operate the motor vehicle safely OR your BAC is between .08% and .099%
- High rate of alcohol – A charge of high BAC DUI occurs when your BAC is between .10% and .159%
- Highest rate of alcohol – A charge of highest BAC DUI occurs when your BAC is .16% or higher
Because your penalties are tied directly to your BAC level, your DUI defense lawyer might challenge the chemical test. Breathalyzers and blood tests can be flawed. There are specific defenses related to procedural errors, medical conditions, and problems with the machine that could cast reasonable doubt on the accuracy of the BAC results.
Potential Penalties for a 1st Time DUI Offense in West Chester
If you are convicted of drunk driving, you may pay a fine and serve time in jail. The jail time and fines for a 1st time DUI are:
- First Offense General Impairment – Up to six months of probation and a $300 fine
- First Offense High BAC – 48 hours to six months in jail and a fine of $500 to $5,000
- First Offense Highest BAC – 72 hours to six months in jail and fine of $1,000 to $5,000
In addition to jail time and fines, penalties include attending substance abuse treatment and alcohol highway safety school. For convictions under a High BAC and Highest BAC charge, you also lose your driving privileges for 12 months.
If you have prior DUI convictions on your criminal history, the penalties for a 1st time DUI offense increase. The more DUI convictions, the more severe the penalties.
Enhanced Penalties for Underage Drivers and Commercial Drivers
Pennsylvania has a Zero Tolerance Law for underage drivers. Underage drinking and driving with even small amounts of alcohol in your system results in the same penalties that an adult would face for a High BAC DUI charge.
Likewise, commercial drivers face more severe penalties for driving under the influence. Commercial drivers may face the same penalties for a High BAC DUI, even though their BAC levels are lower than the range for that specific drunk driving offense. Furthermore, a DUI conviction for a commercial driver could result in job loss and damage their career.
Get Help With Your 1st Time DUI Case From an Experienced West Chester Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
Don’t trust the police or the prosecutor in your case. They may already believe you are guilty. Instead, contact our law office to discuss your case with our West Chester 1st Time DUI attorney during a free consultation. We provide an honest assessment of your options so you can decide the best way to handle the matter.